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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Estonia Foreign Trade February 2008

According to the latest data fromStatistics Estonia, the exports of goods increased and imports remained on roughly the same level in February 2008 compared to February 2007. As a result the trade deficit was the smallest in two years.

In February 2008 exports in current prices were 10.4 billion kroons and imports 13.2 billion kroons. Compared to February 2007, the value of exports rose 7% and imports remained on the same level. The trade deficit was 2.8 billion kroons. The trade deficit was smaller last in February 2006 — 2.6 billions kroons. Compared to February 2007, the trade deficit decreased by about 0.7 billion kroons.

Obviously this is fairly positive news, but we need to wait and see a little what the future dynamic is going to be, since a slowdown in growth across EU countries is now clearly visible.

And Estonia is obviously now very dependent on what happens in the rest of the EU (with internal demand in Estonia now contracting) since in February 2008 the share of the EU countries was 73% (and the share of CIS countries 12%) of total exports. The most important partners in exports were Finland (17%), Sweden (15%) and Latvia (11%). Exports of goods increased to all main destination countries.

In terms of imports the share of the EU countries was 80% and that of CIS countries 12%. The most important origin countries were Finland, Germany and Sweden. Imports from the EU countries increased nearly 0.6 billion kroons as compared to February 2007. The biggest decrease was announced in the imports from Russia (0.9 billion kroons)

The foreign trade deficit with the EU countries decreased 0.5 billion kroons compared to February of the previous year. The foreign trade deficit with CIS countries decreased 0.9 billion kroons.

In both exports and imports the most important commodity section was machinery and equipment (the share was 23% for exports and 21% for imports). Compared to February 2007, the nominal increase in exports was biggest in exports of raw materials and chemical industry products(31%), agricultural products and food preparations (25%) and machinery and equipment. The exports of mineral products decreased significantly — 0.7 billion kroons or 44%. Imports increased for raw materials, chemical industry products and machinery and equipment. The biggest decline in imports was for mineral products and of wood and products thereof.

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